Building Your Own Carpet Cleaning Business
- Where Do I Start?
- Friends and relatives, even in-laws
- Your own neighbors
- Former co-workers, employers
- Social groups, clubs:
- Card clubs, bingo, bowling, athletic leagues, etc.
- Lodges, fraternities, alumni groups
- Neighborhood or regional associations
- Church or religious affiliations
- Offer cleaning in church at no charge for opportunity to demonstrate to group
- Size of group dependent on size of church
- How Do I Successfully Sell The Job?
- Sell the benefits of clean carpets with emphasis on good health and indoor air quality
- Sell your cleaning method as being the most recommended by the nation’s carpet mills. Mention new warranty requirements by mills and have a sample brochure available as evidence
- Sell assurance of quality, service and prolonged life of properly maintained carpets
- Emphasize special training and certification you have completed to maintain technologically advanced carpet fibers
- FREE and friendly estimates are a MUST
- Be knowledgeable to answer customers questions
- ASK FOR THE JOB! "Ye have not because ye ask not."
- Overcoming Common Objections
- Pricing may be most common. Never be defensive of your pricing. You are a business owner with real expenses necessary to assure future service to your customers
- Answer objections: Your price is inclusive and contains no hidden charges, such as: 25 cents per sq. ft. for preconditioning, extra charge for "deep-cleaning method," extra charge for berber, stain blocker carpets. (Have local mailers available to illustrate fine print disclaimers.)
- Leaves carpets too wet - assure customer of 4-8 hour normal drying time. Lower PSI prevents overwetting, padding moisture, musty after-odors associated with old "steam-cleaning" methods. Use examples of wet vs dry method of cleaning (laundry and hair washing are always effective.)
- Inconvenience - assure your customer that all work and furniture moving is done by you without customer assistance. Using your own water eliminates the need to run hoses through the house and does not disrupt water pressure within the home. You have no "regular" business hours and any hour is convenient for you to clean their carpets.
- "What if I’m not satisfied?" Offer a guarantee of customer satisfaction. Offer free, no hassle recleaning of areas in question. Once you are comfortable with your own abilities, offer money-back guarantee.
- You Are Building A Customer Base, What Next?
- Invest in a large city street map and plot those jobs you’ve done. You should see small clusters of jobs within the same area. Cultivate those areas for more business; make your service truck a fixture in those neighborhoods.
- Send thank you or reply cards to your customers. Follow up on any negative responses to prevent additional problems. With their permission, use your satisfied customers as your referral base. Money talks as do happy customers. Put your money where their mouth is and reward them for job referrals with a gift certificate to be applied toward their next cleaning.
- Send reminder cards to all customers annually. Send interim brochures suggesting furniture or drapery cleaning, spot removal, odor control and other services you offer.
- Specific Advertising Hints
- Home Shows, Flower and Patio Shows (exhibit)
- Door prize for high school raffles, radio contests, fairs, etc. (gift certificate)
- List business in RV parks, marinas (on-site and portable cleaning) (brochures)
- Offer free demonstrations for specific groups (community, lodge, church)
- Little Things Mean A Lot
- Clean small rugs/mats at no charge
- Quick errand for a shut-in is always remembered
- Sweep walkways or porches before or after cleaning
- Send Thanksgiving or Christmas cards as customer appreciation
- Offer spotting advice, tips for interim cleanups
- Never say you can’t do something; be full service
- BE CREATIVE; learn what invokes human response and go for it
Additional Carpet Cleaning Business Information: